The Plan.

Here it is, in all of its scribbled-on glory, posted on my wall underneath my calendar and above where I hang my race numbers:

(Keen eyes might notice the URL: yes, it is Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 program. His Novice Half plan worked really well for me, so I’m hoping to have the same happy results with the full.)

Even though today is a rest day, it is still technically Day One of The Plan ™. Tomorrow, I get the gift of an easy 3-miler to kick things off. I know I’m ready for it, because I saw people out running earlier and thought, hot dog! Tomorrow I get to be you, and that makes me happy. And I was smiling, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just because I’d had some coffee.

There are a few changes to the plan as it was originally conceived, mostly to adjust for the half I’m doing in September, and in the last week when I’m tapering since the race is on a Saturday and not a Sunday. But, there it is. It’s big, it spans a lot of time, it looks terrifying to contemplate 8-mile-pace-runs in the middle of weeks when I know I’ll have lots of schoolwork to do.

But.

I wrote last time about some of my apprehensions, and one thing I’ve been thinking about since then is how emotional this process could be for me. A big part of the whole reason I decided to run a marathon in the first place is because last fall, something was wrong with my health, and I had no idea what it was, and I was scared that it was something really serious. I had one of those “this is your life, start living it and stop wasting it” moments, and it occurred to me that if I’m going to ever run a marathon, why not do it now? Life isn’t waiting for me. So, that’s why, at the ripe old age of 32, I’m doing this for the first (and not, I hope, the last) time. But having all of that in the back of my head is a bit heavy, you know?

While it is heavy, it’s also a fantastic motivator. There were days in half-training that I wanted to just skip my run and nap, but I didn’t do it; I pushed through whatever it was, and of course felt better afterwards. I was rewarded handsomely when my half was an amazing, fantastic, incredible experience; sticking to The Plan is something I know I can do, and something I know will pay off on November 10. I have so much in me driving me to go these 26.2 miles that I can’t see myself not doing it – even if, right now, I feel like I’m standing at the base of Mount Everest and squinting, just trying to catch a glimpse of the top, wondering what the view looks like from up there.

In 18 weeks, I’ll find out. And I cannot, cannot, cannot wait. 😀

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